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Dolomite in caves: Recent dolomite formation in oxic, non-sulfate environments. Castañar Cave, Spain

Alonso-Zarza, Ana María and Martín Pérez, Andrea (2008) Dolomite in caves: Recent dolomite formation in oxic, non-sulfate environments. Castañar Cave, Spain. Sedimentary Geology, 205 . pp. 160-164. ISSN 0037-0738

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Abstract

Dolomite is a common mineral in the rock record but rare in recent superficial environments. Where it does
occur, it is related to anoxic, sulfate-rich environments and microbial activity. The occurrence of some
dolomite deposits in caves, however, indicates that dolomite formation is also possible in oxic, non-sulfate
settings. Dolomite is forming at 17 °C and in oxic-vadose conditions on the host rocks and aragonite
speleothems of the Castañar Cave, Cáceres, Spain. It appears as spheroids and dumbbells 50–300 μm in
diameter that internally consist of micron-sized rhombic to rounded crystals. Initially this dolomite is Carich,
non-stoichiometric and poorly ordered. Mg-rich solutions allow the precipitation of metastable Mg-rich
carbonates, such as huntite. This soon transforms into this Ca-rich dolomite, which later “ages” to form a
more stoichiometric dolomite. These dolomites show similarities to those grown under anoxic, sulfate-rich
conditions and their presence in caves provides a different setting that may contribute to the understanding
of the “dolomite problem”, including their initial formation and later recrystallization processes.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Dolomite, Caves, Huntite, Low-temperature, Recent, Castañar Cave, Spain
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Petrology
ID Code:10005
Deposited On:02 Feb 2010 12:34
Last Modified:06 Feb 2014 08:36

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